Nicky (Will Smith) is a con man in the second generation and in the game for a while, when he meets Jess (Margot Robbie). Jess is young, aspiring to be a con artist herself and trying to rip off Nicky. Nicky plays along for a while, but ultimately reveals himself. Jess asks for a lesson, they hit it off and team up, only for Nicky leaving Jess behind after their job is done. Years later they run into each other again – on opposite ends of another con job.
Focus was not a great film, but it was a thoroughly entertainign one. I like con/heist stories, even if the cons here weren’t awesome, and it was nice to have it paired up with a RomCom.
Watching Focus, I was accutely aware of how much I miss Leverage. Focus had the same easy humor and almost the same approach to conning (as in a morally ambigious one but they do tend to take mostly from the right people. Though Leverage was certainly more concerned with the morale of it), but it was infintely more stylish than Leverage. They obviously had more budget and used it for a sleek-looking film.
I enjoyed both Will Smith and Margot Robbie in their respective roles and they did have a very nice chemistry with each other. But I’m far from coninvced about the durability of the relationship between Nicky and Jess in the end and I really shouldn’t think too much about the power imbalance and all the secrecy etc etc etc or else I’d probably find all kinds of problems with both of them. But as long as I keep it superficial, I don’t mind it.
The story was rather predictable, except for one thing that I didn’t see coming in the exact way they dealt with it: [SPOILER] It was clear that Nicky would use the con his father did that he told Jess about, but I hadn’t peggerd Gerald McRaney as said father in person. [/SPOILER]
In short, if you’re looking for something entertaining and rather fun, but not too challenging to pass a nice evening, you could do way worse and certainly a lot uglier than this film. Just don’t expect a cinematic revelation.